We knew the Green Bay Packers weren’t happy with Erik Walden‘s production, or lack thereof, at outside linebacker, but he now appears to have completely lost his grip on a starting spot.
A week after using rookies Vic So’oto and Jamari Lattimore extensively in place of Walden, the Packers threw Frank Zombo and Brad Jones into the mix as well. Jones and So’oto both responded with sacks against the Lions and it now appears Jones may have earned himself a starting spot.
“I thought Brad Jones had a very good game,” Capers said. “I thought he played physical in the run. Of course, he had the sack. I thought he had two or three good rushes. I thought Vic So’oto, you saw him show up in terms of rushing. And Frank Zombo did a pretty nice job in the run, so we’re going to get those guys reps this week and take a good look, see how things go and make a decision on who we decide to go with.”
Jones, who’s primarily been used on special teams this season, finished the regular season with 19 tackles and one sack. He’s more or less been the forgotten man among the team’s outside linebackers, but it now looks like he’ll be playing a sizable roll in the Packers defense during the playoffs.
So’oto only played in seven games, largely because of injuries, and finished the year with seven tackles and one sack. Similarly, Zombo played in only five and recorded 10 tackles and a sack. Although he missed several games because of injury, the Packers also made him a game-day inactive when he was healthy, so they obviously didn’t consider him the solution.
They’re re-evaluating that now.
We expect to see Jones, So’oto, Zombo and perhaps even Lattimore get reps during the playoffs. Whoever is manning the spot opposite Clay Matthews, it doesn’t look like it will be Walden.